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Wednesday Feb 26, 2020

Knocked out yet again, George North's regular concussions surely signal the end of his career

The sight of George North splayed on the floor after a knock to the head is one that Welsh fans, and those all round the world, have grown all too familiar with.

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The 27-year-old came off the field in the eleventh minute against France on Saturday after clashing with Gael Fickou in the air, raising fresh concerns about his well-being.

North has a long history with head injuries, and this latest concussion means he has suffered at least one a year since 2015, where he had a sustained spell on the sidelines with Northampton Saints because of it.

While this latest injury may prove problematic for Wales in the immediate future with a visit to Twickenham in a fortnight, there are greater worries surrounding the two-time British and Irish Lions tourist.

Fans are suggesting that it’s time he hangs up his boots.

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There are those that would like to see North retire after this latest incident, while many are questioning his future, and are sure that is what North will be doing himself.

In this current climate, trolling and abuse on social media are a topic of discussion, but there is nothing malicious in this circumstance, as these are genuine concerns about the winger’s welfare. This is not something that is strictly from Welsh fans either, as no supporter, regardless of nationality, would want to see a player struggle the way North has at times.

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The Ospreys star will feel that he has so much to give to the red jersey of Wales in the future. With 97 Test caps, and 94 for Wales, North is tantalisingly close to making his century, and at only the age of 27, he will feel that he has many years ahead of him.

With 40 tries for Wales, he is still 18 behind Shane Williams, but that target will be in his sights as well.

However, there are factors that are out of his control, and with every concussion, the calls for retirement will grow. He will likely see specialists over the coming days to assess what happens next, and whether that means another extended break away from the game, the rugby world will want what is best for him.

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